JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Under the agreement, the farmers,trading under the name, All Cane, have legally granted permission to Pan-Caribbean to sell sugar and molasses on their behalf.
  • Pricing has been agreed on among the parties, and is in keeping with the existing cane payment formula.
  • In August 2011, the government divested its sugar assets to Chinese firm, Complant International Sugar Industry Limited, which is locally represented by Pan-Caribbean.

The All Island Jamaica Cane Farmers Association has signed an agreement with Pan-Caribbean Sugar Company, authorizing the firm to sell sugar and molasses on behalf of the farmers, and to establish a pricing regime.

Under the agreement, the farmers, represented by the association and trading under the name, All Cane, have legally granted permission to Pan-Caribbean to sell sugar and molasses produced from cane delivered to their factories on the farmers’ behalf.

Agriculture and Fisheries Minister, Hon. Roger Clarke, who participated in the signing ceremony held on Wednesday morning, January 15, at his Hope Gardens offices, said that pricing has been agreed on among the parties, and is in keeping with the existing cane payment formula.

“As we seek to modernize the sector and to increase production and productivity, this represents another necessary step within the regulatory and legal framework,” Mr. Clarke said.

In August 2011, the government divested its sugar assets to Chinese firm, Complant International Sugar Industry Limited, which is locally represented by Pan-Caribbean.

The company is the registered owner of Frome and Monymusk sugar factories, and has been appointed under the Sugar Industry Control Act, to market the sugar and molasses produced at its factories, locally, and overseas.

Minister Clarke noted that as the Ministry encourages the expansion of sugar cane production, it also fosters the maintenance of a good, and fair relationship between the various stakeholders, including farmers, factory operators, and trade unions.

He said the sugar industry continues to make a major contribution to the economy, directly employing more than 35,000 farmers, which is 18 per cent of the employment rate in the agricultural sector.

“The sugar sector earned or saved an estimated US$109.7 million in the 2012/13 crop year…as such, sugar is still the largest foreign exchange earner in the agricultural sector,” he stated.

Minister Clarke indicated that crop production should be up this year, from the 128,000 tonnes produced in the last crop year.

Meanwhile, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Pan-Caribbean, Dr. Huaixiang Wu, welcomed the partnership, emphasizing that the company is committed to the local sugar industry.

In his remarks, Chairman of the All Island Jamaica Cane Farmers’ Association, Allan Rickards, expressed confidence in the agreement, stressing that he expected the partnership to thrive.

He noted that as set out in the agreement, there will be structured, productive meetings, involving specified teams from both sides.